Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Gentle Arts

The Gentle Arts book 
While I am always reluctant to make New Year’s resolutions, I openly declared that 2013 was going to be a “gentler” year. Coincidentally, while sorting books I came across “The Gentle Arts – 200 Years of Australian Women’s Domestic & Decorative Arts”. It is full of  amazing textile work – from hand coloured photos to filet crochet,  delicate embroidery to  weaving – fine and gentle work.  … which motivated me to learn shuttle tatting.  A friend gave me a shuttle and lent me a basic instruction book – first attempt not so successful! I hate to say I failed, but the results were certainly an alternate version of tatting! I just could not get the right thread knotting around the other!  
History of tatting in  Australia in "The Gentle Arts" 
Tatting instructions 
While on holidays, my mother taught me to needle tat and that seemed quite easy, so back to working with the shuttle with even more determination.  Fortunately my aunt visited and brought with her a giant tatting shuttle and some cord. I tried that and this was the turning point – yes, a successful tatted chain and with some little picots!
Samples of  my learner tatting ... top right hand samples of needle tatting, and others are tatted with a shuttle. 
Tatting is not only one of the gentle arts, but it is also one of those useful domestic arts that can be done while watching TV.  So thanks to the return of Master Chef in the evenings for an hour or so, I have continued to practise my tatting and make some temari which I think is another gentle art. 

and a special mention ... Happy birthday to a special nine year old. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creative Beginning

Polymer clay head by Bobbi Oliver

Happy New Year - cheery fellow isn't he? What a creative beginning to 2013 I 've had. A visit to my friend's studio always motivates me. This week, I was there for only a few hours and came home with new knowledge and ideas.  Bobbi Oliver, from Lamboart  is a talented  figurative sculptor and art doll maker. Her partner, Jane Lambert ( hence the name, Lamboart) is also a talented paper artist. Their studio is alive with creativity, fun, laughter and joy. 
Bobbi and some of her works in progress 

Bobbi demonstrating clay techniques.
 Bobbi has also helped me with the beginning of the "Spreading Wings" project for International Women's Day. Here is the link to the fantastic event, with a new sponsor -  the City of Newcastle , Making your Place program. Read more about this by following the link  ... in summary, "Spreading Wings " is a series of textile art skills workshops where small swatches of fibre art will be made to create a large bird sculpture. Here is what Bobbi has made as a beginning - the framework of the sculpture.

If all of this excitement wasn't enough, I curated a group exhibition - the textile art of 27 artists from Newcastle Creative Embroiderers and Textile Artists ( NCEATA). The exhibition entitled "Unique Stitches"  is diverse, colourful, skilled and artistic. I am really proud to be a member of this very creative group - congratulations NCEATA on  a stunning display of  unique textile art and a dazzling opening night with a capacity crowd last Thursday.

"Unique Stitches" is open until 18 January at Timeless Textiles
7 Beaumont Street, Islington  (Newcastle) NSW.